Friday, May 31, 2013

Moving day...

For the last 15 years of my life (almost half of my entire life!!!), every time I used the word "moving," it meant going to a different city, at least a few hundred kilometers away, most of the time, a different country or even continent. I've moved too many times, I've lost count.

However, as far as I can remember, this is the only time I moved inside the same city. It's definitely the first time that "moving" didn't mean also changing my entire life, the language I'm speaking day to day, the people I hang out with, the places I go, the activities I participate in. It's weird. I'm moving, but it doesn't really feel like it. I'm moving to a new apartment, 3.6km away. That's nothing. I can walk from one place to the other. It's 2 stops on the metro.

I think that's why I've taken it so easily. I'm usually really stressed out and worried and almost in a panic, for weeks before the move. It's not the move itself, it's the fact that it symbolizes a 180 degrees change of everything in my life. This time, the only thing that's changing is that I won't have roommates anymore.

That was the point, obviously, I wanted to get my own place. But at the same time, I was feeling all melancholy at the end of dinner tonight, looking around at all these people I love and have shared so much with, for 18 months. I'm going to miss them. A lot. I know they're only 15 minutes away, but we were a family, there's an inner circle, the Beermannkinder. I'm leaving the inner circle... and that's kinda sad... :(  This is the last post I will write here. It's 4:39am, I should probably be sleeping, but somehow I want to savor the last moments in this house... there are many dear memories here...

On a positive note, I feel like this is marking a changing point in my life. I'm "growing up," it's almost like moving out of the "dorms" after college. :) Silly comparison maybe, but that's what it feels like. I'm happy, and I think this will be very good for me.

Onward and Upward!

p.s.: also, totally looking forward to walking around naked in my own house! YEY!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


For a long time, I was an expert at suppressing my emotions, not allowing myself to feel them, or outwardly pretending I felt nothing at all. It was to protect myself from painful feelings. Put up the walls, pretend nothing's happening, and maybe, just maybe, you won't feel it.

Eventually, there came a time when I started to realize how wrong this was. How emotions are part of what makes us human, and how feeling them, be them good or bad, is part of the richness of the human experience. It was hard to change. Actually, it's still hard. I'm still tempted to suppress everything bad, and "not feel it." But lately, I've sort of embraced it. Allowed myself to feel sad and even cry if I needed to. And you know what? It was liberating.

Today was one of those days.

I logged on to an old email account, one that I haven't used in years, because it's been invaded by spammers. What isn't my surprise, when I see one lost little email in the middle of 500 spam messages, from someone I haven't seen in years, and which actually contained a couple of pictures. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. My automatic response immediately tried to suppress them. I stopped it, and allowed the tears to flow. I answered the email, tears still in my eyes, and said some things that I should have said 20 years ago. Yes, I've been suppressing those tears for 20 years. That's a long time...

Nobody wants to hurt. Nobody likes to cry. But what we don't realize is that those tears, that pain, is not going to go away unless you feel it. Unless you look it in the face and accept it, feel it, and then, put it away.

Sometimes a good cry is just what the doctor ordered...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A simple little word... NO

How can one little word be so difficult to say and cause so many problems?

Why is it that society (and particularly some cultures) have made us believe that it is impolite or mean  or selfish to say "no" to something?

I don't get it. This is a collective problem of humanity, one that I also struggle with sometimes, but I do my best to actually say no when I don't want to do something, or at least to bite the bullet and do it if I said yes.

But I think the problem is that we don't see the other side. Why is it that we don't have the right to say no? Why do we feel rude? If we say yes to something out of obligation or inability to say no, we are not happy, not doing something to the best of our ability, and we're usually upset with the other person for "forcing" us to do something we didn't want.

However, they're not "forcing" us at all! They asked a question. We said yes. It's our problem!

I don't think it's rude to say no. I think it's much worse to do something for someone without actually wanting to. Saying no is ok. Really. I might be sad if someone says "no" to me, depending on the circumstance, but I'll never be mad at them. It's their right. And I'll even protect their right to say no. I don't want anyone to help me, or go somewhere, or lend me something, or do anything at all out of obligation, when their heart is not in it.

But that leads us to the other problem around the word "no". The fake yes. Oh, how I hate that. Oh, how it annoys me.

The majority of the people who don't have the guts to say no (or don't say it for a variety of other reasons), actually feels obligated by their own word, their commitment, and actually do what they said they would. But once in a while you run into people who don't have the guts to say no, but don't have the decency to be true to their word either. That's a waste of my time. That's not ok. I could have asked someone else, someone who actually wanted to help, but instead, I'm waiting for the idiot who didn't have the guts to say no, but didn't have the strength to follow through either...

We should start practicing and saying no to things we don't want to do. We need to defy society's claim that anytime someone asks us anything, we should say yes. We need to reclaim our right to use that simple little word: NO!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I just watched "Into the Wild" again.

It's such a beautiful, powerful movie for me. And I don't mean in the cheese way that everybody talks about, the open road, let's go traveling, whatever. Sure, there's some beautiful scenery, and it definitely brings home the fact that there are too many beautiful places in the world that deserve to be seen, but I already know that.

I think to me, the most striking part of the movie is the contrast between the beginning, when he's traveling around and spending lots of time alone, and even says to Ron that he's wrong if he thinks that happiness comes from human contact-- to the end of the movie, where possibly his last written words were "happiness only real when shared."

Yes, society might have its problems... and our interactions with the people around us might be complicated and chaotic at times, but we will never be happy without having someone to share it with.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Languages and such...

Just a quick note on the topic of languages... how funny is it that the same word can mean completely different things in different languages?

Check out the following example:

Word: "Hell"
Definition in English: Underworld, place of fire, Satan, etc.
Definition in German: Light, bright, luminous-- as in "I love summer! It's 9pm and still 'light' out.

It gets even funnier when you have the same word in the same language, but different regionalisms change its meaning. For example:

Portuguese Word: "Puto"
Definition in Portugal: little boy
Definition in Brazil: male prostitute

And there are thousands of examples... (let's not even mention the Spanish word "concha") yeah, some funnier than others... :)

It's just one more adventure in the process of learning a new language. I love it!

Friday, February 25, 2011


I'm a junkie. Really. I need to get checked into a Rehab facility as soon as possible.

Don't be too surprised, if you're reading this, chances are you're a junkie too... and no, I'm not doing drugs.

Let me explain: I'm a technology junkie.

Next week I'm going to Thailand. I've been looking forward to this trip for months now, and I can't wait to be out in the sun and sea enjoying the beauty and tranquility of islands and nature.

However, every time I think of the fact that I'm not taking my computer, my heart skips a beat. I'm serious, it's that bad. I feel like a junkie looking for her next fix, even though I still have the computer under my fingertips. Literally. And the more I realize how addicted I am, the more I am certain that I have to leave the computer at home.

I'm actually sure that once I'm there, I won't even think of the computer, I'll be too busy enjoying everything around me to remember that machines, computers, phones, even electricity, exist.

But I'm sad to realize what a sad state of affairs I'm in right now. Seven years ago when I went to Thailand the first time, I didn't even own a laptop. I was in Thailand for 6 weeks and checked my email maybe 5 times. Now the first thing I do when I wake up is turn on the computer, and the last thing I do before I fall asleep is turn it off...

So yes, I'm in need of rehab. And I hope that when I come back, I'll be able to control my urges and give myself more and more "unplugged" time. I need it. Maybe you need it too...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pillows and such...

I've been thinking a lot about the whole concept of "home" lately. I've lived in so many places, so many different countries, continents, houses, apartments, and traveled to so many more, that I could honestly not count the amount of beds I've slept on or the number of pillows I've laid my head on at night.

There are people who can't sleep well if they're not in their own bed. That never really happened to me. I'm so used to being homeless, that whenever asked "Where is home?" I usually answer "wherever I lay my head at night..." That's been true for the last 12 years, at least.

It's funny, because when I was a kid, I wanted to live in Brasilia my whole life. I always wanted to travel and see the world, but I had never considered living elsewhere... Brasilia is where I was born, and where I grew up. The weather is wonderful, the scenery is beautiful, there's a lot of natural beauty around and plenty of places to explore outside the city. The city itself is quite small for a capital, and I know it better than the palm of my own hand. I know it so well that you can probably take a random picture of any corner of the city, show it to me, and I can tell you exactly where it is. No joke. For the first half of my life, it was definitely "home".

It lost the title of "home" when I moved away and discovered that there were other places in this world where I felt more at home than there. Places where I "fit" better, although I've started to discover that maybe it's more due to the fact that I'm as adaptable as a chameleon, than to the actual environment around me. But during the last 12 years, I had gone to the other extreme and said that I definitely did NOT want to live there.

However, I don't know if it's because I'm growing old (yes, happens to the best [and the worst] of us), or because I've grown tired of change, or simply because the weather is getting to me and I miss the warmth of the sun on my skin... but lately everytime I think of "home", Brasilia comes to mind. Ironic, isn't it?

Does the prodigal son always come home? Will there be a party if he does?

...Something to think about...

Monday, November 29, 2010


I realized something today... well, no, that's not exactly right. I had thought of this before. "This" being the fact that you can only be disappointed and get annoyed at people when you have expectations from them. Today I experienced it.

I was annoyed at someone because I had expected them to do something, which they did not. Then all of a sudden, it wasn't that I stopped to think about it or anything, it just came to my mind "but why did I expect them to do that anyway? There's no specific need for it, or rule saying they should. So if I don't have a specific reason to expect them to do it, I don't have a valid reason to be annoyed by the fact they didn't do it." That synopsis took only a split second in my brain, and just like that, my annoyance vanished.

I was kind of astonished that all it took was that split-second realization...

Sometimes we can un-complicate our own lives without even trying... just by adjusting our thinking and our attitudes towards something.

It was a good day. :)

p.s.: and I just realized that my last post was titled "annoyed". However, that was a different situation, I was annoyed at stupid people who did things wrong or not at all, when they were paid to do it. It was a work thing, and since I had to fix what they had done wrong, or do what they hadn't done, I was completely right to be annoyed...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm very annoyed today. Stupid people are everywhere.

I think that's the biggest problem for evolution to solve. If natural selection were really that good, shouldn't it have eliminated all the stupid people already???


Friday, September 3, 2010

The Art of Contentment-- Part II

The building where I work

Maybe it's just the novelty of it all and it will wear off in a few days. Or maybe it's because I have a nice office all to myself, and a coffee-maker at the reach of my hands and a comfy chair with wheels that I can spin around in. (yes, I'm a child).

It may also be because I get to read interesting papers all day, and even edit papers written by old professors (now I'm the one with the red pen! REVENGE!! hehe!).

But I'm actually enjoying myself at work. :)

My office

The view from my window... 
If you look carefully you can see a German flag on the right side of the building...